Why Does My Breath Smell Bad When Wearing a Mask?

March 8, 2021

Wearing masks quickly became the new normal, and we’re sure you noticed just as quickly a change in your breath. You might hear this commonly referred to as “mask breath,” but in reality, your mask isn’t to blame for this smell. Think of wearing a mask as constantly cupping your mouth to smell your own breath.

Bad breath, is properly referred to as halitosis and is usually a result of decreased saliva production. There are plenty of reasons you could be experiencing bad breath, but we made a list of the most common reasons.

Bad Breath Culprits

  1. Woman cupping her mouth to smell her breathDiet is usually a large contributor when it comes to bad breath. Foods like garlic, coffee, fish, eggs, and onion are all known to leave an odor behind. Along with these foods, sweets commonly leave an odor on your breath. According to CNN, bacteria feed off of sugar and this results in a foul odor. This is known to often happen with gummies and caramels. If you have a sweet tooth, your best option is to go with plain chocolate!
  2. When food gets trapped between your teeth and gums, bacteria will begin to break down, leaving a stink behind. If you’re experiencing this, try brushing your teeth and tongue three times a day, flossing, and using a fluoride mouthwash.
  3. When you wear a mask, you can’t drink anything. If you aren’t drinking as much water as you once did, it can result in bad breath. Drinking water regularly allows for bacteria to be washed away before they multiply and cause your breath to smell.
  4. We all know the bad reputation mouth breathers have, and one of them is for having bad breath. At night, saliva production is decreased and mouth breathing or snoring can further dry out the mouth, making your breath even fouler than the normal “morning breath.” The best way to combat the mouth breathing stench is to drink lots of water and continue with a normal healthy dental hygiene routine.
  5. Most underlying medical conditions can lead to bad breath. If you often experience acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, the acid can easily create bad breath. Untreated GERD can develop into serious illness. Bad breath can also be an early sign of an underlying disease that doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms.

Kiss Bad Breath Goodbye

If over the past year you’ve noticed your “mask breath”, consider making a dentist appointment with your dental provider! During this visit, the dentist will be able to help determine the culprit of your bad breath and be able to recommend some solutions. At Highlands Ranch Dental Group, we are following all safety precautions to keep patients and staff safe.